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 December 2014 Newsletter
Mission Statement:  "It's our home, we make it better." 

Welcome New Chamber Members!


Hart Industries dba Hippy Fox

284 N. Old Troy Road

Troy, TN 38260


Business Representative: Glenn Jones


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The Locker Room

317 W. Reelfoot Ave.

Union City, TN 38261


Business Representative: Jo Ann Smith

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Red Streets Media

418 State Route 94 East

Fulton, KY 42041

(731) 796-5925

Business Representative: John Watts


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November Ribbon Cuttings

Don Sol Mexican Grill

701 E. Reelfoot Ave.

Union City, TN 38261

(731) 599-1515

Business Representative: Jorge Leal

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Bouncing Back from Lost Jobs

Source: WPSD Local 6 News


A community that lost a major employer is bouncing back quickly. When a Goodyear plant closed in 2011, the unemployment rate in Union City, Tennessee jumped to 18%. Now less than four years later, that number is being cut in half.  The efforts of state and local agencies helped to revitalize the area. Obion County Economic Development Director Lindsay Frilling said its thanks to businesses likes Greenfield Products expanding and new ones coming in like MIA Seating. Darius Mir, CEO of MIA Seating, or Made in America Seating, chose Union City out of 17 locations to build his plant.


"Union City brought us an opportunity to approach a very talented workforce," Mir said.

A workforce, coming from layoffs of the Goodyear plant closing in 2011, which caused the unemployment rate to double.


"For somebody to believe in us enough to come in and decide to come here and not only come here, but bring 510 jobs was an absolute blessing for us," Frilling said.

Frilling said the location had to do a lot with it.  "They can reach their major markets of Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago in one day's drive," Frilling said.


Tennessee Valley Authority Economic for Development, Heidi Smith said another reason they were able to bounce back so quickly was because they put together a strategic plan. TVA marketed the spec building as a ready to use facility for a new company like MIA Seating to move into.  MIA Seating is sending its first shipment next week. They plan on hiring more than 100 employees this spring.

To see the full story: 


November Business Matters-WLJT-TV


WLJT loves the Obion County Chamber!  Monica Cochran, General Manager and CEO of WLJT, and I were so pleased to be able to support the chamber and sponsor the November Business Matters.  We enjoyed sharing information about West Tennessee's public television station with fellow chamber members.  We answered questions about programming and why WLJT is not on satellite in Obion County.  It all comes down to the way the FCC decides what television market each station is aired in.  But it's important to remember that we are still West Tennessee's public television station, and we rely on your support!  WLJT is in your local schools,  WLJT is at The Obion County Public Library and WLJT is active in your community.  We help encourage a lifetime love of learning by brining special educational events that show children that learning IS fun! 


And supporting WLJT is also fun!  If you love Downton Abbey - you are going to love this!  Support your public television station by becoming a member of WLJT and joining us at our special pre-screening reception, at the Ned in Jackson on Thursday, December 11th.  Our event will be packed with Downton Abbey doorprizes, hors' doeuvres, wine and, of course tea!  Join WLJT with a donation of $35 and receive one ticket to the reception, or receive two tickets for a donation of $50.  If you are already a member of the station - your ticket is only $25 dollars or $40 for a couple.  Members who attend the pre-screening party will also get VIP seating for the screening to watch the drama unfold.  Request your tickets by Friday, December 5th, tickets will not be sold at the door.  The pre-screening reception starts at 5, at The Ned (314 East Main Street, Jackson) The screening of the first episode of Downton Abbey, Season 5pm is totally free - and you can join us at The Ned in Jackson at 6:45pm. For more information please call Mandy at 1.800.366.9558.  


Thank you again to Lindsay and Katie at the Chamber for all you do for small business in Obion County!


Submitted by: Mandy Hinson of WLJT


Board Member Spotlight


Board Member Name: Kerry Speer

Company Name: The Messenger Commercial Printing

Position:  Commercial Sales Manager

Work Phone: 731-885-0744

Email:  kspeer@ucmessenger.com


Areas of Expertise: "I have been in commercial printing since 1978 and have been involved in all the facets of commercial web production. I began my career in printing working on a press for a subsidiary of the Chicago Tribune in Naples Florida and have progressed through the positions to general manager of Simpson Press in Memphis, TN and Little Rock, AR. Prior to moving to Union City I accepted a project that involved moving a printing plant in Miami, FL to a new facility. The move included moving all the existing press line as well as adding several printing units. This move was to accommodate and launch the world's most premier financial newspaper, The Financial Times in Miami, under a strict deadline. Currently, as Commercial Sales Manager at The Messenger, I am responsible for acquiring new customers to have their products printed with us at our facility. As a previous co-owner of two outdoor publications and my printing background, I feel that as a Sales Manager I am a great liaison between publishing clients and our printing facility. As a co-owner of Cutting Edge Bindery along with my wife Jo Ann, we perform post press binding at our facility for The Messenger and we take great pride in the quality of the printing and the binding work that we provide."


Other Interests: Hunting, fishing, kayaking, aerial and outdoor photography. Really, anything outdoors. 


Why did you join the Chamber?

"I feel that being a chamber member allows company employees to network with other businesses and their owners. It gives you great opportunity to meet local business owners that you may not have even known had a local location."


Why do you serve on the Board of Directors?

"I serve on the Board of Directors to help pass the words "Shop Local". I am amazed at the folks that do not realize that small towns are dieing under our very eyes because of the tax revenue that goes elsewhere when a purchase is not made in Obion County. Because I am in outside sales I do a great deal of traveling and am always disappointed when I see remnants of once flourishing towns. Seeing empty buildings, cracked sidewalks and stagnant streets is discouraging. I encourage everyone to see if a local vender might have the products or services needed prior to purchasing out of our area. I also would like to remind local businesses not to take their clients for granted. I once read something that has stuck with me and makes since. It is cheaper for a company to keep and make a client happy than it is to replace them. This is so true."


What is the Chamber's role in the business community?

"Assisting all businesses to succeed and grow while allowing businesses to network with each other to increase their sales. To provide outlets for members to connect with each other and have the opportunity to share what their individual company has to offer."

Ambassador Member Spotlight


Ambassador Name: Lorraine Gossett

Company Name: Baptist Memorial Hospital

Position: Director of Wellness and Industrial Relations

Work Phone: 731-884-0110

Email: lorraine.gossett@bmhcc.org


Areas of Expertise: "I have a Master of Science Degree in Exercise Physiology and Education.  I manage Baptist Memorial Hospital's Fitness and Wellness Center, Health Quest and am responsible for all fitness and wellness programming at the facility.  I am a certified Smoking Cessation Instructor and also teach weight management and stress management classes for community and corporate groups.  As the Director of Industrial Relations I offer comprehensive health and wellness services to area businesses and industry.  Baptist Industrial Services works to promote and protect the health of workers through preventive services, treatment of injuries, and education.  We offer wellness education, health fairs, flu shots, employee drug screens, post-offer employment evaluations, and various other services to meet the specific needs are area businesses."


Other Interests: "I enjoy fitness walking, tennis, reading, shopping, singing in the choir at Second Baptist Church, and writing women's bible studies.  I am Co-Chairman of the Hometown Walk of Hope and serve on the Board of Directors for the Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse."


Why did you join the Chamber?

"I believe in getting involved in one's community.  I think it is important for community leaders and businesses to support each other in order to help each other grow and prosper."


Why do you serve as an Ambassador?

"I serve as an Ambassador in order to assist the Chamber at various events and activities.  The Chamber of Commerce is so vital to our community and the leaders there need assistance in order to offer quality programs and events to Obion County.  Serving as a Chamber Ambassador has also afforded me with many networking opportunities and chances to meet other business leaders."


What is the Chamber's role in the business community?

"I believe the Chamber's role is to first and foremost help our community grow.  The Chamber offers numerous programs to area businesses in order to keep them informed and involved in their community.  They also offer programs and networking opportunities that can help businesses grow and succeed and learn from each other."

Keathley Accepted in to WestStar Program


Keathley is the Membership Director of the Obion County Chamber of Commerce. Currently, she serves as a mentor for the Tennessee Promise Program as well the Public Relations Chairman for the Obion County Walk of Hope and the Obion County Cruise-In Chairman. Katie is an active member of the Obion County CornFest Committee, the Obion County Adult Leadership Board and the Union City J'Cettes, where she serves as secretary. She is also a member of the Second Baptist Church Public Relations Committee and a volunteer of Main Street Union City Organization.


Keathley is an Obion County Adult Leadership graduate of the class 2013-2014, a graduate of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce Executives Class of 2014 and a graduate of the CO.STARTERS class of 2014 .

Keathley says that participating in WestStar will be an integral part of her position at the Obion County Chamber of Commerce. As Membership Director, her main responsibilities are to promote, protect and serve the Obion County community with regards to business, industry, tourism, education, and healthcare.  As a WestStar class member, she will not only increase her knowledge of the wonderful assets of West Tennessee, but will also expand her network of people, which she believes are our greatest resource. 

 2014 Goodwill Career Solutions Impact Luncheon

The Goodwill Career Solutions 2014 Impact Luncheon is to recognize and honor our employer and community partners.  Our partners help us meet our mission.  Goodwill's Mission:  The sale of donated items helps people with disabilities or other barriers to employment prepare for and find jobs in the community.  Without our partners, we would not be successful helping people find jobs.  The Impact Luncheon affords us the opportunity to thank and congratulate our partners for our success.  So far in 2014 Goodwill Career Solutions has helped 7,788 people find employment and the Union City Career Solutions center has helped 556 people find employment.  We would not be able to be this successful without partners.  We are so grateful to all our partners and wish he could award each and every one of them. 




Advantage Staffing

Cox Oil Company, Inc.

Max Trans, LLC




Bethel University

Obion County Joint Economnic Development Council



Tennessee College of Applied Technology



Tonia Brown

Latorria Hennings-Drake

Jeffrey Jackson

Lisa Turner

In This Issue
New Chamber Members
November Ribbon Cuttings
JEDC Job Fair
Bouncing Back from Lost Jobs
November Business Matters
Board Member Spotlight
Ambassador Spotlight
Keathley Accepted into WestStar Program
Goodwill Career Solutions Impact Luncheon
Archived Obion County Chamber of Commerce Newsletters

Join Our Mailing List  




 Main Street Christmas Tree Lighting

Main Street Union City presents the 2014 Christmas Tree Lighting, Monday, December 8, at 5:30 P.M.at the Obion County Courthouse with the Christmas Parade following at 7:00 P.M., in downtown Union City, TN. Master of Ceremonies, Joe Ward and invocation delivered by Crossword Church pastor, Jeremy Powell. Entertainment provided by Jaime Worrell, Obion County Children's Chorus, Union City Elementary Chorus Kids, and Voices of UCES. Christmas ornament winners from area schools will decorate the tree followed by 2014 Pride of Obion County, David Harris, lighting the tree. Santa will be in Merchants Park at 4:00 P.M. along with face painting by Gina Lyon. Popes Concessions will be set up in Merchants Park serving delicious food throughout the day beginning at 11:00 A.M., throughout the Christmas Parade.

For more information, call Phyllis Rauchle at the Main Street office at 885-8330.  


Thank you for continuing your OCIDC Membership!


All Kraft Erectors, Inc. 


Commercial Bank

First Citizens National Bank

Gibson Electric Membership Corporation

Obion County Farm Bureau Insurance

Thompson & McConnell PLLC

White-Ranson Funeral Home




Discovery Park of America: Visitor Impact on Businesses



Mary Nita Bondurant,

Marketing Director



December 16, 2014




Obion County Public Library


Sponsored By:

Discovery Park of America

More and more, people are being encouraged to shop locally. This movement isn't just a fad, and it has benefits that reach beyond keeping small mom and pop retailers afloat in a difficult economy. When you visit an independent local business you:


1. Keep more money in your local community

2. Celebrate the uniqueness of your community 

3. Support local jobs

4. Encourage the Obion County community

5. Make Obion County a destination

(Site: http://www.kingwindshields.com/keep-arizona-strong/)


This holiday season, the Obion County Chamber of Commerce encourages you to shop locally. To find all your holiday shopping needs, visit our chamber business directory at www.obioncounty.org.


By: Katie Keathley

Obion County Chamber of Commerce Membership Director

Manufacturing Day Celebrated in Obion County


October was National Manufacturing Month. To celebration Manufacturing Day in Obion County, the Northwest Tennessee Workforce Board and Economic Development Director Lindsay Frilling coordinated with local schools and industry to bring awareness of quality jobs available right here in our community. Students were enlightened on the various jobs available, training needed, salaries, benefits, etc.

Greenfield Products and Green Plains visited students at Obion County Central High School, which was followed by questions for students interested in careers in manufacturing. Greenfield Products employees enjoyed interacting with students at OCCHS after the presentation. (Photo right). Tyson and Waymatic spent time with students at South Fulton High school as well.

The New Customer Loyalty Program-LoyalBlocks


LoyalBlocks is the first fully automated, mobile-based loyalty solution for brick & mortar merchants and their customers.


LoyalBlocks automatically recognizes customers as they walk into a business, punching their mobile punch-card and sending tailored promotions their way. Customers don't even have to open the app, they simply walk-in and a tailored experience is triggered!


LoyalBlocks creates a seamless, sustainable customer-merchant relationship: Customers gets hassle free incentives to visit their favorite spots, and merchants get a highly effective method of communicating with customers, incentivizing foot traffic and rewarding loyalty.


For more information click here: http://www.loyalblocks.com/

The Tennessee Career Center at Union City is offering Resume' Writing workshops on Tuesday afternoons at 1 PM. Job seekers interested in attending a workshop will need to complete a resume' worksheet prior to attending a session. Space is limited, so registration is required. Register by calling 731-884-3868 between 8-4:30 Monday - Friday.

Touching Hearts at Home of West Tennessee is taking on-line applications for Caregivers in Obion and Weakly Counties. Experience in caring for the elderly and a passion for serving are required. Contact Touching Hearts at Home for additional information on qualifications and instructions for applying, at 731-613-2526. Also, visit us on the web at www.touchingheartswesttn.com.

Searching for good employees?


Let Goodwill Career Solutions help. We not only help employees go to work; we also help employers find qualified, ready to work job applicants. We are a free service for the community.


For employers, we can host a job fair for your company. We will handle all the work whether you use online or paper applications.


We can also keep your applications on file.  You can have all your job application traffic flow through our office.


We are available to help in a number of ways.  Please call to set up a time to meet with our Career Counselor, Sandy Hickey at 731-884-4324.


1430 S. First Street, Union City, TN 38261 731-884-4324

List Your Available Commercial Property With Us


Let us help you spread the word about your available commercial property by listing it at www.obioncounty.org. If you have commercial property you would like to list, please contact Lindsay Frilling, Economic Development Director.


South Fulton Community Alerts

For community alerts in the South Fulton area...text "SOUTHFULTON" to 888777 and enter your zip code when directed.  For more information visit www.nixle.com

Interested in sponsoring Business Matters or Business After Hours?

Contact Lindsay Frilling at

 731-885-0211 or lfrilling@obioncounty.org  

Any time you want to "visit" or to know what's happening in Union City and the surrounding area, just pop into this site and catch up: